The Man Behind “Mirror”

March 1, 2009

In my cinematographer round-up last week I failed to mention the man who shot two of my favorite films of all time, Andrei Tarkovsky’s Mirror (1974) and Stalker (1979). Truth be told, I know nothing about Georgi Rerberg beyond his name, apart from the fact that he popped up once again, far from home, in 1995, as the cinematographer of Souleyman Cissé’s gorgeously shot, little-seen South African drama Waati. (He died 4 years later, aged 61.) So I was thrilled to discover that at last month’s Rotterdam Film Festival there was a documentary about Rerberg called Rerberg and Tarkovsky. The Reverse Side of ‘Stalker’, a film I would swim the Atlantic to see. I am dying to find out what contribution Rerberg made to those two miraculous films.

Cinematography postscript: The best line of last weekend’s Oscar telecast was of course Janusz Kaminski’s “Suck on that Anthony Dod Mantle!” after he became the first DP to present an Academy Award (albeit alongside Seth Rogen and James Franco). I didn’t include Spielberg’s favorite cinematographer among my pantheon of DPs even though his showy work on Julian Schnabel’s The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is worthy of attention. The dirty secret is that, in between the last Indiana Jones and Spielberg’s Tintin movie Kaminski shot the new Judd Apatow film—and Adam Sandler vehicle—Funny People, hence his appearance at the Oscars in the preceding (very funny) Apatow-directed skit. Skeleton in Kaminski’s closet: Vanilla Ice vehicle Cool as Ice (1991)!


One comment

  1. Rerberg didnt shoot the Stalker we know and love. He shot the original version that Tarkovsky scrapped citing bogus technical reasons and was then sacked before the film was entirely reshot. Rerberg did however shoot Sissako’s marvellous monochrome debut October, based on his experiences at film school in Moscow.

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